You Know You’re An Academic When. . .

This happened to one of my graduate students. Honestly, it could have happened to anyone of us. The student should be commended for seeing the humour in the situation and sharing what has to be the best story of the term to date:

  • You go to the library catalogue to look for a book you absolutely must have.
  • You notice the book is checked out on a longterm (faculty/grad student loan).
  • You curse and search your bag for a pen to write down the name of said book so that you can go up and down the halls, checking with possible users to see if you can borrow it from them.
  • You have to pull out all the library books in your bag to locate said pen.
  • Upon pulling out that stack of library books, what do you think you find? Yes. That book. You checked it out yesterday.

4 Responses to “You Know You’re An Academic When. . .”

  1. Luo Lin Says:


    My housemate would tell one of his commmittee members about a good book he’d found. The prof would then ask his research assistant to get him the book (not maliciously, I think-he was notoriously absent minded). The RA would recall the book from my friend. They eventually figured out what was going on, since it was a small dept with not too many in their subfield.

  2. Chaser Says:

    I’ve done this! I have also recalled a book from long-term loan on my office mate. He was returning it just as I was looking to pick it up.

  3. What Now? Says:

    I have actually recalled a book more than once, only to receive notification from the library that my recall couldn’t be processed because I already had the book!

  4. mythoclast Says:

    I can see doing that, but haven’t yet.

    In my research seminar last year, my prof told us to start getting books we need from ILL or recall as the process can take a while. I said, “but I feel bad recalling books, I wouldn’t want anyone to recall them from me…” and I specifically remember him saying, “oh no! I always think its interesting to find out that there are other people in the school interested in the same things I am. Go for it and soon.”

    The next week in class, confused: “Um, did someone recall my books on Somewhat Obscure Historical Topic?”